Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Putin's "state of the nation" speech

The president once again makes nationalism his theme. This seems to be a continuation of his attempts to win more support from a less-than-enthusiastic electorate.

Putin warns of foreign meddling in politics in Russia
In an annual state-of-the-nation address in Moscow strong on patriotic themes, he talked of the need to preserve Russian national identity.

He urged more births, saying a family with three children should be the norm…

It is his first such speech since being re-elected in March for a third term following a winter of political protests over ballot-rigging and state corruption.

His return to office has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent with the arrest of opposition activists and introduction of restrictive legislation.

"Any external interference in our affairs is unacceptable," he said.

"A politician who receives money from beyond the borders of the Russian Federation cannot be a politician on its territory," he said to applause.

In July, Mr Putin signed a bill forcing foreign-funded non-governmental groups (NGOs) involved in political activity to register as "foreign agents" in Russia.

Critics condemned the move as a bid to gag NGOs which exposed vote-rigging and other abuses…

Russians, Mr Putin said, should remember they had "1,000 years of history". This should give them "inner strength".

Russia must remain a sovereign and influential country and retain its national identity, he told parliament…

On the economy, Mr Putin said: "Our entrepreneurs have often been accused of lacking patriotism."

He criticised companies carrying out their business in offshore jurisdictions.

"According to available data, nine out of 10 transactions by them are not regulated by our laws."...

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